It took me a while to get into this Elm Creek Quilts book. I've loved all the books so far, and for a while I wondered if this would be the one that I...moreIt took me a while to get into this Elm Creek Quilts book. I've loved all the books so far, and for a while I wondered if this would be the one that I didn't, partly because I prefer the modern-day books in the series rather than the historical ones, and partly because the descriptions of slave treatment were so dark and brutal - it took me a while to be able to read without flinching. However, once I got used to those elements (and they lessened as the book went on) I found it a fabulous read.
I found it very eye-opening to read about how the slaves were treated. Not the violence, but the heartless separation from loved family members - while I had known of this, I had never really considered how that would make the individuals feel. Doubtless this is remiss of me, though I think slave history is less of a "topic" in England than in America, because by and large British slaves were in colonies abroad, not actually in England.
I found the ending to the book very satisfying - just enough loose ends tied up to close the story off, without being so neat and tidy that it seems unrealistic. I look forward to reading more books in the series - I have the latest one waiting for me on the bookcase.(less)
Eminently readable drivel. While I quite enjoyed reading it, I really didn't care about any of the characters and consequently wasn't too bothered how...moreEminently readable drivel. While I quite enjoyed reading it, I really didn't care about any of the characters and consequently wasn't too bothered how the plot resovled itself - not that there was any doubt as the plot was obvious from the beginning. It also wasn't anything like as "clean and nice" as my mother had implied when she'd handed me the book and said I had to read it. I refuse to believe that real people actually behave in such an immoral and licentious manner as those portrayed here. All quite idiotic, frankly.(less)
I was rather disappointed by this book. I expected it to be something of a celebration of the beauty of home, but found it was very half-hearted in th...moreI was rather disappointed by this book. I expected it to be something of a celebration of the beauty of home, but found it was very half-hearted in that. As long as something is inherently decorative and largely purposeless, Jane Brockett approves of it (for example, embroidery and making ridiculously over-decorated cakes). But she is very scathing and derisory about most of what I would term domestic arts, and regards things that are generally useful (for example, cooking dinners as opposed to cakes, maintaining a level of cleanliness and tidiness in the home) as beneath her (and any other woman). Despite pretending to overthrow the tyrannies of feminism that forbid a woman to enjoy homemaking, in effect it just compounds them by denigrating almost all aspects of that. She only really has time for things that happen to be done at home but she feels are more "artistic" than important.
However, the photography is beautiful, and if you can get past the patronising and pompous writing style there are some gems of information tucked in among the clutter.(less)
This was a brilliant little book about dementia and its implications for the sufferers, carers, and communities. It covers both the scientific side -...moreThis was a brilliant little book about dementia and its implications for the sufferers, carers, and communities. It covers both the scientific side - what causes dementia and how it affects the brain, along with ideas that may help prevent it - and the more practical / spiritual side of how to deal with it. Lots of emphasis on viewing a person with dementia as a real, whole individual, rather than as an embodied condition, and there are practical ideas for how to relate to and help them and those caring for them. Some of the ideas are for individuals, some are for churches as a whole.(less)